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2014 Annual Conference Report - Rainbow Project

The goal of The Rainbow List Project is to further the mission of the GLBTRT and SRRT by promoting quality GLBTQ literature for youth ages birth through teens through creating an annual recommended  bibliography.  We provide readers with guidance in selecting realistic and recommended books that reflect the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning experience and communities, which is becoming ever so important in today’s world.  In creating our annual bibliography we also provide a tool in which librarians and libraries can locate and retain materials within their collections.

Much has been accomplished since the Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We have kept five members from the previous year: Ingrid Abrams, Astoria, NY; Naomi Gonzales, Houston, TX (Chair); Melanie Koss, Chicago, Illinois; Erin Marie Iannacchione, Raleigh, North Carolina;and Jesse Nachem, Oakland, CA. We have also added four new members: Abbie Anderson, North Bend, Oregon; Thaddeus Andracki, Champaign, Illinois; M’issa Fleming, New Orleans, Louisiana; and Lucas Alan McKeever, Urbana, Illinois.  

The Rainbow Project Top Ten for 2014 was published in the paper copy of Booklist, and the full list is available online. As expected, response has been extremely positive, and a lot has been said on the blogsphere in the teen readership area.

Committee Chair Naomi Gonzales is maintaining the Rainbow Project Blog and various social media accounts. We were unable to fill the position of Administrative Assistant (formerly occupied by Jane Cothron) and as such, Naomi Gonzales and Jesse Nachem divided the responsibility of contacting publishers. This seems to be as successful as the work done by an administrative assistant. We have been having monthly online meetings through ALA Connect to discuss books read and nominated, as well as having discussions about procedures.

Chair Naomi Gonzales has worked with Joy Worland and Linda Parsons (co-chairs of the Amelia Bloomer project) to coordinate the ALA Annual Conference joint program panel. Authors Tim Federle and Sara Farizan, both of whom were on the 2014 final Rainbow List, were contacted and gladly agreed to speak. Authors William Klaber and Rita Williams-Garcia were contacted by the Amelia Bloomer project and will also be on the panel.

Chair Naomi Gonzales will be attending ALA Annual in Chicago, and will be attending the SRRT All Committee Meeting to represent the Rainbow Project. In addition, committee members Jesse Nachem and Ingrid Abrams will also be in attendance.

In the previous committee year, Ingrid Abrams was selected for chair-elect for the 2015-2016 term and will be chair after Midwinter 2015 in Chicago. It was communicated to Naomi Gonzales that the three term chair-elect / chair / previous chair system is no longer in place, therefore there will be no previous chair for the 2015-2016 term.

Updates to committee procedures reflecting the removal of the word “nomination” have been submitted.

Committee members will continue to read and recommend submitted books and will participate in straw polls to streamline the work typically undertaken at ALA Midwinter.